Daily Prompt 2/28/23

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?

This is one of my favorite prompts ever.

After my 4 years in college, I had no plan. None. I worked at a home for juvenile delinquent boys for about 6 months and also at a daycare. Both jobs had terrible pay and neither required a college degree. I couldn’t really afford to buy food, so thankfully there was usually food the staff could eat at the daycare. At the boys’ home, we HAD to eat with them to model appropriate family meals. The food was so bad, we all used way too much hot sauce just to choke it down.

I had gained a lot of weight in college and lost all of and more in the year following college. I had a bad breakup that made me not hungry and I started running for fun. So between making no money, being completely alone with not even one friend where I lived, and spending my time running and not eating, I decided to follow my younger brother into the Air Force.

I did really well on the ASVAB in most areas and got a job in avionics. I wasn’t paid much more than I had been making at the daycare, but I didn’t have to pay rent or buy food because they had a dining hall. So I actually had more money in the Air Force. After I’d been in about a year or so, an opportunity to get into ROTC and become an officer emerged. It was for people who already had a degree or were within a year of completing their degree. You had to do one year of college and then go to field training. Field training was usually 4 weeks, but the people in this program would do 6 weeks. You had to complete 2 years of ROTC to commission, and we would get that second year in those two extra weeks in field training. To be fair, the second semester of the senior year is Air Force life stuff, which we would already know and the entire third year was also stuff we were already familiar with.

And so, having no plan after college and stumbling around for a year and a half led me to the Air Force, where I enlisted, then commissioned into a flying job, stayed in for 20 years, retired, and now get paid to stay alive. I’d say that failure to plan worked out in my favor with a successful retirement long before most people my age.

One response to “Daily Prompt 2/28/23”

  1. Indeed…

    Liked by 1 person

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